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Improvement

The red spot in the yard.

The red spot in the yard.

As we grow up we learn how to pick out what's wrong. Which one of these kids is different? Which one doesn't belong?

A few weeks ago I was standing on our deck looking through the trees in our back yard. Our house borders a small plot of land owned by the town. Most days, the town parks its leaf truck on the gravel driveway there. The leaf truck is large and bright red. It is ugly and impossible to miss.

As I looked at the stain parked next door and contemplated a painting commando mission, my daughter walked up to me.

"What are you looking at Daddy?" she asked. 

"The big red thing over there. See it?" I said. 

She looked around for a minute and then lit up. "Oh! Daddy, a cardinal! How pretty!"

I had completely missed the bird a few feet in front of us. 

It is easy to pick out what's wrong. It is harder, and much more valuable, to see what's right. 

The irony of improvement.

The irony of improvement.

You're exactly where you need to be.

When you feel poor, the answer is to give something away.

When you feel tired, the answer is to exercise.

When you feel uninspired, the answer is to create.

When you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, the answer is to take a break.

When you feel lonely, the answer is to offer friendship. 

When you feel unloved, the answer is to love others regardless.

When you feel lost, the answer is to stop searching and accept where you are.

When you feel that the world is stacked against you, the answer is to radiate gratitude.